Goar Avetisyan’s talent as a makeup artist is undeniable. In recent years, the Moscow-based beauty guru has turned her attention to helping people who may have lost some of their self-confidence, including cancer patients. And while the transformations that Avetisyan is responsible for are always jaw-dropping, the real magic is in how she makes her clients feel.
Avetisyan is something of an Instagram sensation. The Armenia-born makeup artist boasts an impressive 6.6 million followers on the popular social media platform. And she often uses her high profile online to share some of the incredible client transformations that she’s been behind.
As her Instagram page shows, Avetisyan works with a range of clients, including brides-to-be. And it’s her epic makeover skills that have seemingly earned her scores of followers. According to a Daily Mail article from 2017, some of her fans have even hailed Avetisyan’s talents as “unbelievable.”
And it seems that Avetisyan is quite the perfectionist when it comes to creating her clients’ new looks. In fact, according to the Daily Mail, she regularly spends up to two-and-a-half hours on her transformations. But Avetisyan says that the time it takes is completely worth it.
Explaining the motivation behind her work, Avetisyan said that she always aimed to make her clients happy. She wrote on Instagram, “I can’t even explain this feeling when you do a makeover for somebody and you make this person happy and more self-confident. You help the person love themselves more.”
So then, part of Avetisyan’s work involves empowering her clients through her artistic talents. At first glance, her makeovers may appear to celebrate a very specific kind of glamorous beauty. However, the people in her chair often have incredible stories of strength and resilience. They may have battled illness, suffered burns or dealt with skin conditions. And it’s this inner reserve that Avetisyan aims to highlight.
While it should be noted that all the women Avetisyan features on her Instagram page are beautiful in their own right, the makeup artist often helps them rediscover their smile after a period of hardship. So while none of them need makeovers, they often appear moved by the results of Avetisyan’s work.
One particularly memorable video posted to Avetisyan’s page in 2017 featured a woman named Vlada. She had undergone 15 eye operations before meeting the makeup artist, which appeared to have left her with some degree of scarring. And according to another post on Avetisyan’s Insta, Vlada had “really dreamed of a transformation.”
That’s where Avetisyan stepped in, transforming Vlada with dewy face makeup and a seductive smoky-eye look. And when Vlada first saw her makeover in the mirror her delight was clear to see. She doubled over in apparent excitement and began to giggle uncontrollably, before carefully examining her reflection in awe.
In another popular post that appeared on Avetisyan’s Instagram page in 2017, the beauty guru flew a woman called Jamilya from Kizilyurt in Russia to Moscow. Jamilya had suffered facial burns as a two-year-old. But Avetisyan was eager to get people to look beyond her scars and “highlight her inner beauty.”
Before and after shots from Jamilya’s makeover show her amazing transformation in full. Avetisyan had helped her client sparkle with a smattering of shimmering eye makeup and an embellished silver gown. Needless to say, the photos of Jamilya’s new look went down a storm on Avetisyan’s Instagram page, attracting more than 195,000 likes.
In another amazing transformation, Avetisyan turned her attention to her own grandmother. The makeup artist revealed on Instagram that she’d been trying to get her “beloved” grandma in her chair for 17 years. And it seems that in 2017 Avetisyan finally convinced her elderly relative to undergo a makeover.
It’s safe to say that the results of Avetisyan’s grandmother’s transformation were completely staggering. The makeup artist had smoothed out her relative’s complexion and emphasized her piercing green eyes with lashings of mascara. What’s more, Avetisyan had given her grandma cascading brunette waves that framed her beautiful face.
So it’s safe to say that Avetisyan works with a variety of clients, all of them with their own unique reasons for coming to her. However, one group of women that the makeup artist works with regularly are cancer patients. And it’s these transformations that Avetisyan perhaps finds the most rewarding.
Serious illnesses such as cancer affect people in a number of ways, which can extend far beyond health implications. For instance, cancer patients may suffer from low-self esteem during their treatment. This means that they tend to feel less confident in themselves than they did before their diagnosis.
Furthermore, cancer can negatively affect a patient’s body image. The illness and its treatment can change the way a person looks and can include hair loss from chemotherapy and scars from surgery. As a result, there has been some discussion among medical professionals over how cosmetic makeovers can be beneficial to cancer patients.
According to an article published by the U.K.-based publication Nursing Times in 2008, the physical symptoms of cancer can serve as a constant reminder to patients of their illness. And this can be incredibly hard for them to deal with, particularly for women. As a result, the use of cosmetics can offer them a coping mechanism.
Speaking to Nursing Times, Vickki Harmer, a breast cancer nurse from London’s St. Mary’s Hospital, explained, “Cancer and its treatments can have a devastating effect on a woman’s self-confidence and self-esteem, making her feel less attractive than before… Hair loss is an outward sign of the illness and, for many women, it can feel like you are being forced to disclose there is something wrong with you.”
With that in mind, Nursing Times reported the increasing popularity of beauty treatments and workshops for cancer patients throughout the U.K. Among the skills that women could learn was how to pencil in their eyebrows after chemo and how to cover their hair loss with scarves or wigs. And according to one study, such support was beneficial.
According to a study of 100 female breast cancer patients, those who had undergone beauty treatments reported better body image scores than those who hadn’t. And while makeovers didn’t decrease psychological distress, the study discovered that feelings of hopelessness in those who used cosmetics didn’t increase as time passed.
Beryl Womack volunteers for the Look Good, Feel Better program, a U.K-based organization that provides makeup workshops to women with cancer, free of charge. And she’s witnessed the positive effects beauty treatments can have on patients for herself. She told Nursing Times, “When the women first come in they are very nervous, but, by the time they leave, they are completely relaxed and feeling much better about themselves.”
Caroline Monk was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and she’s since founded Caroline’s Campaign – a charity that provides free pampering experiences for others with the illness. She told Nursing Times, “Chemotherapy can take away all that feels feminine but, if you look ill, you’ll feel ill. If you look fabulous, you’ll feel fabulous.”
And through her experiences as a makeup artist, Avetisyan knew all too well how powerful her work could be to cancer patients. As a result, she worked with them regularly and often for free. After all, Avetisyan felt rewarded enough by seeing the positive effect that her makeovers had on her clients.
Avetisyan shared one such transformation on Instagram in 2017. At the time, the makeup artist had been on a so-called “makeover tour,” which took her to the Russian town of Krasnodar. It was there that Avetisyan met Nadya, who was undergoing chemotherapy to treat her cancer. And as a result of the treatment, every hair on her head had disappeared.
In preparation for Nadya’s transformation, Avetisyan first stopped by a shopping mall, where she picked up a wig, jewelry and a new outfit for her 35-year-old client. After that she got to work on Nadya’s transformation, later revealing the incredible results on her popular Instagram page.
Pictured after her makeover, Nadya sported a choppy blonde wig, a flawless complexion and dark eye shadow. And when she first saw her new look in the mirror, her emotions flitted between tearful and happy. So needless to say, the video that Avetisyan shared with her Instagram following made for quite a moving watch.
But Nadya’s story didn’t end there. In a follow-up post, Avetisyan revealed more about Nadya’s life, explaining that she was currently single but dreamed of having a family one day. She lived in Krasnodar with her mother after having moved there from Tajikistan and hoped more of their relatives would join them eventually.
In her Instagram post, Avetisyan said that Nadya, “works in the consumer rights department and listens to other people’s problems every day.” She also revealed that her work outfits were usually understated. But after her transformation, Julia had promised Avetisyan that she would, “look like this every day.”
Another one of Avetisyan videos from 2017 featured a lady called Julia. Like Nadya, Julia was also a cancer patient and had seemingly lost all of her hair. As a result, Avetisyan gave her a luscious blonde wig, some of which she piled on top of her head in a glamorous updo. She also left two strands down to frame Julia’s pretty face.
When Julia first sees her transformation in a video posted to Avetisyan’s Instagram, she is clearly shocked and simply stares at herself in the mirror. Aside from her wig, Julia is also wearing perfectly applied makeup that emphasizes her natural beauty. And when the new look is revealed to her husband, he too is unable to hide his emotion, rushing over to his wife to embrace her.
In her accompanying caption, Avetisyan revealed that Julia and her husband, Andrei, had been married for four years and wished to start a family in the future. However, cancer had gotten in the way of those plans. So for the moment at least, it was just the two of them. And it was clear to see the beneficial effect Julia’s transformation had had on them both.
Another one of Avetisyan’s happy clients was Marina, who the makeup artist claimed “really loves life” despite the fact she had stage four cancer. Avetisyan was clearly excited to work with Marina, stating on her Instagram page that she was “the girl because of whom I came to work today.”
For Marina’s makeover, Avetisyan started with a flawless base of foundation, before highlighting her client’s features with rosy hues of pink on the lips, cheeks and eyes. A video of Marina’s transformation showed how Avetisyan had experimented with a headscarf and wig, before choosing to embrace her client’s natural short hair.
Writing alongside the video, Avetisyan revealed that Marina had gone through some tough times, having experienced domestic violence before being diagnosed with breast cancer. As part of her treatment, she had undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy, as well as a mastectomy. But nevertheless, Avetisyan described Marina as a “sunny and kind woman.”
Avetisyan found further inspiration in another one of her clients, named Ekaterina. Her cancer was also at stage four, meaning it had metastasized, spreading from its place of origin to at least one other organ in the body. However, the makeup artist stated that Ekaterina “wants to live and does everything for it.”
For Ekaterina’s amazing makeover, Avetisyan gave her a vibrant blonde wig and freshened up her face with a feminine makeup look. Describing the transformation on Instagram in 2018, the makeup artist said, “I decided to give Katya new emotions and a fresh breath of positivity and beauty.”
In one of her most recent transformations, Avetisyan worked with a lady called Karina, whom she met in Thessaloniki in Greece. Like Avetisyan, Karina also had Armenia roots and had written to the makeup artist to tell her how proud she was of her achievements. However, Karina added that she needed a makeover from Avetisyan “more than anyone else.”
In a Facebook post from November 2019, Avetisyan explained how 33-year-old Karina was fighting cancer and was struggling with her treatment. So after hearing her story, she decided immediately that she wanted to work with her. And yet again, the results of Avetisyan’s artistic talents were awe inspiring.
It appeared that Karina’s cancer treatment had robbed her of her hair. However, Avetisyan was able to give her some of her identity back, with the addition of a luscious brunette wig and thick brows that framed her face. As a result, when she saw her new look, Karina’s jaw dropped in utter disbelief.
Given the joy that Avetisyan’s talents can bring people, we can assume that she’ll continue to carry out makeovers in the future. In 2017 she wrote on Instagram, “I adore my work. I put my soul into every transformation… I live for these ‘after’ emotions. I can’t even say how happy I am that I’ve helped at least someone. It’s so important to feel you’re doing something good for others.”